Doing What You Love
Last night, after a lot of dancing at a concert, I commented to a friend, “If I did this every night, I don’t think I’d need to do much other exercise.”
Saying it reminded me of the part of the Am I Hungry?®Mindful Eating program that discusses the importance of not only eating what you love, but doing what you love, including exercise. And as I thought back, I realized that the band last night has been instrumental in helping me remember how much I enjoy dance.
I first saw Enter the Haggis (now Jubilee Riots) over ten years ago at an outdoor concert. A lot of other groups played before them, and some people had danced. Not me. Even though I had lost weight, I hadn’t yet adjusted to my new body, or the concept of doing anything that might get me noticed. I still preferred being invisible to risking potentially negative attention.
I didn’t know what to expect from Enter the Haggis, but when they came on stage and played rocking tunes – with fiddle, bagpipes, drums, pennywhistle, bass, trumpet, keyboard, and guitar– their enthusiasm and energy proved infectious. I couldn’t stay in my seat. Like many others, I got up and danced.
What a wonderful, freeing experience to remember that moving my body could be joyful and unselfconscious! I occasionally worried what other people might think, but the focus on the band meant no one paid attention to me. And my own enjoyment, of the music and banter and cute band members, helped my concerns take a back seat.
Since then, I have seen ETH in a number of venues, the most unusual being a middle school gym, and each time has been the same. Their albums also provide some of my favorite driving music, and even when sitting I’m tapping my feet, drumming my fingers, or swaying with the beat.
I’d forgotten some of that joy in movement recently, since I’ve had to start doing specific strengthening activities that make me think of exercise more as duty than pleasure.
Dancing last night reminded me I can still find time to balance that with moving for fun. And maybe I can consider the other exercise not as obligation but rather a way to keep my body tuned up so I can continue doing what I love – including dancing at concerts for many years to come.